Press releases from the MotoGP teams and Bridgestone after qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix at Mugello:
Lorenzo Flies to Mugello Front Row
Mugello International Circuit (Scarperia, Italy), 1st June 2013
Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo continued yesterday’s blistering form this afternoon at the Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello, taking second on the grid in qualifying for tomorrow’s Gran Premio d'Italia. The reigning World Champion was fast straight out of the box in the tense 15 minute heat, dipping under the lap record on his first full lap with a scorching 1’47.621 effort to take provisional pole. After a change of rear rubber he was back out with six minutes remaining and looked certain to retain pole with an even more impressive 1’47.226 lap. Unfortunately a late effort by rival Dani Pedrosa improved the lap time by just 0.069 seconds, taking pole and relegating Lorenzo to second.
Valentino Rossi was caught up in a busy track from the start of the short session and struggled to find a clear space to record his best lap time. The Italian rose initially to third with an impressive 1’47.832 and looked good for a front row until a flurry of late activity pushed him to seventh position on the third row for tomorrow’s race.
2nd / 1'47.226 / 8 laps
“We still suffer a little bit when the weather is hotter, we don't have the same grip. Even with this issue we have been competitive though, in the free practice and also in the qualifying. I was surprised to be so fast in the first lap when I made a 47.6. I was also surprised about the lap time from Marquez on his first try and also the lap time from Dani. I thought the 47.2 lap was enough for pole position but Dani was faster so it wasn't. The important thing is to make a good start tomorrow, to get in front and to go away if possible. If not possible, the race is long and we have to be consistent. We have to improve some small details but in general the bike is better here than at the other tracks.”
7th / 1'47.872 / 8 laps
“The practices are not so bad because we have a good pace for the race which is important. As always in the qualifying we suffer more than the others. They use the slipstream of the others and are able to go a bit faster than me. Unfortunately I have to start on the third row but I’m quite happy because my pace is quite good so I think with a good start I can do a good race. We will see tomorrow.”
“A very exciting qualifying. We have a very good pace and Jorge did two fantastic laps. Dani was in seventh or sixth and panicking a bit, I think he had to do it in the last lap and he was one tenth faster. Anyway, tomorrow is the race, we would of course like to be on pole but tomorrow is a different story. Tomorrow we get the points so we concentrate on that and make sure we have a good pace.”
“It has been a pity that we lost pole position for just a fraction of a second when we led for most of the practices and we had a very strong pace, Jorge is very fast and consistent. Valentino has also a good pace and showed it in the last free practice. I think tomorrow is going to be a really tough race but I think there are all the ingredients for Yamaha to be in the front and fighting for victory.”
Pedrosa breaks pole record during frantic qualifying session with Marquez in 6th
The sun finally came out in Tuscany as Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa claimed a sensational first pole position of the 2013 season in the dying seconds. His record breaking time of 1'47.157 on his final lap of 8, beats his record from 2012 by a tenth of a second (1'47.284).
Teammate Marc Marquez, who suffered a serious crash in yesterday's FP2, was this morning diagnosed with a crack in the top of his humerus near the right shoulder and has significant swelling in his jaw. He cautiously went out on track in this morning's FP3 and had a small accident but managed to avoid any further injury. He progressed through from Q1 with a time of 1'48.524. Then in Q2, he was able to improve by 0.7 with a 1'47.763 on lap 3 of 8, placing him 6th and on the second row for tomorrow's 23 lap race.
Dani Pedrosa 1st 1'47.157
"Today the track conditions were good, the tyres worked well and we improved the bike. All this helped us a lot to increase our pace and this is the most important thing. Qualifying was difficult, because we were behind for a large part of the session, but we managed a great last lap and took pole. Now we have some ideas to improve the bike for tomorrow and hope to have a strong race"
Marc Marquez 6th 1'47.763
"Sixth place today was the best that we could have hoped for and I am very happy with this result. At the end of qualifying I was able to put in a hot lap, but the race tomorrow is going to be difficult and tough. I won't be 100% physically, because I'm bruised and sore. My shoulder is bothering me the most, and we will see how it responds tomorrow. We are going to give our all, in any case, and see where we end up"
Dovizioso on front row at home GP, Hayden eighth
Ducati Team rider Andrea Dovizioso turned in an emotional performance during qualifying at Mugello, the Italian manufacturer’s home track, posting an inspired final lap in the Q2 session that put him on the front row for tomorrow’s TIM Italian Grand Prix. Meanwhile, grip problems limited teammate Nicky Hayden to eighth-best, and the American will start from row three.
Making the Italian’s accomplishment even sweeter was the fact that following a hard fall yesterday, he hadn’t been sure if he’d be able to ride, due to a sore neck. However, thanks in part to intensive physiotherapy, he managed to record the third-best time, achieving his second front-row qualifying performance in a row.
Thanks to a strong ride in FP3, Ducati Test Team rider Michele Pirro made it into the Q2 session for the first time, and the Italian will start the race from the tenth spot on the grid.
Andrea Dovizioso - Ducati Team, 3rd (1:47.628)
“It feels incredible to make it onto the first row at Mugello, especially as a Ducati rider! It was one of my goals, but I still can’t believe it, particularly after yesterday’s crash. The Clinica Mobile and my physiotherapist did a really good job of making my neck feel better, which gave me the opportunity to push hard in qualifying. It still bothers me, but I can push at almost 100%, and because yesterday I didn’t even know if I’d be able to race, I’m very happy. We worked really well this morning, improving the setup a little, and I was pretty fast this afternoon, but when the tyres wear a little our pace isn’t good enough to fight for the podium. Anyway, we’ll try to do our best to get a good result tomorrow for Ducati and all our fans.”
Nicky Hayden - Ducati Team, 8th (1:48.006)
“Today didn’t go as well as I had expected, and I’m not happy to be eighth. I was almost a half-second faster in qualifying here last year, and I was also better in the test we did here a month ago. I haven’t been able to get the grip I need to make the bike turn. Both ends are moving around a bit at the apex, and I’m getting pumping on the exit. The bike was improved for qualifying, but I still wasn’t able to do a good enough lap to get on the first two rows. We just need to see where I can improve and try to do something better tomorrow.”
Michele Pirro – Ducati Test Team, 10th (1:48.564)
“I’m happy to have taken part in Q2, which seemed almost like a Saturday race! However, I don’t think I took advantage of the extra grip that the new tyre can give this bike in qualifying, like Dovizioso did. All in all, I’m quite pleased to have been pretty fast and consistent in all the sessions. That means that the new bike is starting to improve, and that we’ve taken a step forward from Jerez.”
Crutchlow and Smith perform heroics in Mugello
Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team riders Cal Crutchlow and Bradley Smith delivered heroic performances in a tense and dramatic qualifying session ahead of tomorrow’s Mugello MotoGP race in Italy.
British rider Crutchlow’s hopes of a second front row start in the 2013 World Championship appeared to have ended when he fell heavily but unhurt at Turn 3 shortly before the halfway point of QP2. The 27-year-old dashed back to the paddock to jump immediately on his second YZR-M1 machine, but at that stage Crutchlow had fallen down to seventh on the timesheets.
Undeterred by the earlier crash, Crutchlow brilliantly kept his focus to rocket into the top three with a stunning lap of 1.47.771 in the decisive final moments. As the action intensified, Crutchlow dropped back to sixth before improving his pace again, a breathless final lap of 1.47.632 ensuring he will start from fourth position on the grid for the fourth race in a row this season.
A first front row start since the opening race in Qatar eluded Crutchlow by just 0.004s in a session that took place in easily the best conditions of the weekend so far, with a strong and warm sun finally penetrating through the grey and gloomy skies that dominated yesterday’s practice.
Heroic performances are becoming a trademark of the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team in 2013 after Crutchlow raced to a career best second place in Le Mans last month with a broken bone in his right leg.
Today was no exception, with Smith showing bravery and determination above and beyond the call of duty after he suffered a nasty hand injury in a high-speed practice fall yesterday afternoon.
Smith had already rode through the pain barrier to earn a place in QP2, and despite constant pain and discomfort coming from a badly damaged little finger on his left hand, a lap of 1.48.706 secured the 22-year-old a hard earned but richly deserved 11th spot on the grid.
Cal Crutchlow 4th 1.47.632 – 7 laps:
“That was certainly another eventful qualifying session and after crashing out I can’t complain too much to finish fourth and be only 0.004s away from the front row. Luckily I could make it back to the paddock pretty quickly and get out on the second bike and to be on the second row is a good result given what happened. I have been struggling all weekend with the bike to be honest. And although this is my third year at this track, I still don’t feel so comfortable, so to be near the front and not running a bad pace gives me confidence for the race. I need to improve in the first sector and that was my biggest issue yesterday, so we have work to do. It is going to be a long and tough race and we need to make the bike work better. My Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team is doing an awesome job to help me find the best setting and hopefully I can be fighting for the podium again tomorrow like I was in Le Mans.”
Bradley Smith 11th 1.48.706 – 5 laps:
“First of all I was just happy that I was able to ride today after the big crash in practice yesterday. My left hand is not in the best condition but the Clinica Mobile staff did an incredible job working on my finger and my wrist. Sometimes there were four people working on me at the same time, so I owe a huge thanks to all of them for helping me to be out on track today. Considering this whole situation I really have to be happy to have made my way to QP2, even if 11th is a little bit disappointing. But I preferred to save my energy for tomorrow’s race, which will probably be very demanding from a physical point of view, instead of risking too much for a better lap time this afternoon. I’m also very pleased with the set-up of the bike and we just need to make a couple of small changes for the warm up, but all things considered we should be proud of what we achieved given my physical condition. Now I will just try to get as much rest as possible for tomorrow as I want to collect a decent number of points for the Championship and hopefully battle for another top 10.”
BRADL DELIGHTED WITH HIS 5TH SPOT ON THE GRID
Mugello, 01 Jun: Stefan Bradl enjoyed another productive day at Mugello circuit placing his RC213V on the 5th spot of the grid ahead tomorrow’s 23-lap race. The german has showed again his appreciation for the Italian race track during an action-packed QP2 and will share the second row with Crutchlow (4th) and Marquez (6th).
“Actually this P5 is very important for us and I am pleased with the improvement we achieved. All the Honda riders have a better pace thanks to the better temperature of the asphalt. The qualifying was a bit tough for us as we have been waiting till the last moment to get the best lap time. I am looking forward to the race tomorrow because we have the potential to take the first podium and I am sure it will be an exciting race with the guys in the front”.
5th row for Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team
Less than a tenth of a second separated Andrea Iannone from advancing into the Q2 session during qualifying for tomorrow’s Italian Grand Prix.
The Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team rider completed the third free-practice session with a time of 1:49.135 and 11th place, putting him in the Q1 session. He’ll start tomorrow’s race from the fifth row of the starting grid.
Once again, Iannone was limited by a lack of grip, which he and the team tried to correct with a different setting from the one used in yesterday's session.
However, the results were still not up to par. There are still many unknowns for tomorrow’s race, but the hope is that further changes to be tried in the morning warm-up will enable the Italian to recuperate the few tenths of a second needed to have a good race.
“I had quite a hard time today and I definitely thought I'd be faster on this track with all the information. However, we have a different rear tyre now, and the motorcycle and the electronics are also a bit different, but perhaps it isn't just that. Dovizioso rode really fast, so I think there’s some margin for me to do better if we could just understand where we need to make changes. I tried a different setting that I’ll reconsider tomorrow during the warm-up because I wasn't able to do the pace that I wanted. In any case, from now until tomorrow there's still time to understand what and where we can improve, what I may be doing wrong, and how much instead depends on the bike. Physically I'm fine, the only thing is I might be short of breath because since the fall in Jerez I could only resume training last week. Tomorrow I'd like to regain the 3 - 4 tenths I need, and I'm going to do my best to get off to a good start and have a good race.
THIRD ROW START FOR BAUTISTA
Alvaro Bautista will start from the third row of the grid in tomorrow's Italian Grand Prix after only managing to set the ninth fastest time during this afternoon's qualifying practice. The Spaniard had shown good pace here but was un able to put a hot lap together to push himself higher up the order and he will face a battle for a top result in tomorrow's race. Bryan Staring escaped unhurt from a heavy crash this morning although it did nothing to improve his confidence around a notoriously tricky circuit to learn.
Alvaro Bautista (9th 1’ 48” 355 ) “I am not particularly happy with our position on the grid for tomorrow. I felt I could do a better lap than that because we have improved my confidence with the bike compared to yesterday but we didn't manage it. My race pace is good and hopefully if we can get a good start we can stick with the lead group and fight for a top five position at the end.”
Bryan Staring (22nd 1’ 51” 981) “This is proving to be a difficult weekend for me. I am struggling to get a feel for the track and the crash this morning made things even more difficult. We made some improvements this afternoon but the gap to the guys in front is still too big. Despite everything I am still confidence for the race because I think if we can make a good start and follow some guys who know the track well I can get a better reference.”
Fausto Gresini “It hasn't been an easy day and for Alvaro to be a second off pole is perhaps a bit too much. Having said that his race pace is decent so we will keep working to give him a bike that he feels more comfortable with and with a good start in the race I think he can challenge for a top five finish. It has been a difficult day for Staring, especially with the crash this morning. Once again we are at a new track for him and it hasn't helped. Having just the one bike available for qualifying made things even more complicated.”
ESPARGARÓ 12TH, AFTER MAKING IT STRAIGHT THROUGH TO Q2
POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar rider yet again the fastest CRT man on track and ready to start from fourth row, whilst his teammate Randy De Puniet is 14th on the grid
One of the most intriguing things about MotoGP is its capacity to produce constant surprises and after the Yamaha riders dominated this morning and yesterday it was eventually Pedrosa with his last lap of Q2 on a Honda who took pole at Mugello. Lorenzo had set down a marker half way through Q2 by beating the pole record from last year and would perhaps have been surprised to see Pedrosa's dramatic late charge to pole. Once again the new qualifying format rewarded the most alert riders on track and caught a few others off guard. Looking at the grid positions, the race pace of various riders and the Mugello records of certain riders there are plenty of candidates for a podium finish.
POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar's Aleix Espargaró continues his success story every weekend such is his brilliant consistency this season. His very last free practice lap put him directly into Q2 where he of course competed with the very best of MotoGP. His best time of 1.48.765 left him just 1.6s off pole, particularly given the length of the Mugello straight. He ended up 12th, the best CRT rider and therefore on the fourth row. Randy de Puniet, meanwhile, deserves credit for his 14th placed grid spot, especially given his free practice crash in the morning. He responded with the second best CRT time of the day, registered in Q1.
12th Aleix Espargaró (1.48.765): "I'm very pleased with how it's going here at Mugello. I love this track but it's challenging for the CRT riders especially. Our team, Aprilia and I are squeezing out whatever advantage we can every day and that's putting us close to the prototypes. Every race we're trying something new and it's working so well, so we keep moving forward. Tomorrow we'll try to keep that going. The race will be tough, they are many laps and the concentration levels required are very high. I hope the temperaturas don't keep increasing. I have a good race pace, so I need to make a good start and stick to the group in front of me".
14th Randy De Puniet (1.49.266): "We had a big crash on the last lap of free practice and it meant we lost a lot of preparation time. I'm not totally sure why it happened but a lack of grip was definitely one factor. Fortunately we found a solution in order to increase balance on the chicanes. Q1 was decent for us and we were able to respond after the crash. The consistency is there and we're not far off the pace so I'm motivated for the race. I wanted to make Q2 but we're doing a good job and I want to thank the crew for fixing the bike so quickly. My feeling on the bike really improved after the crash and I'm confident that tomorrow a good result is possible".
Abraham unhappy after qualifying practice
Karel Abraham will start from seventh row to Sunday’s race of Italian Grand Prix. The Czech rider was not successful in qualifying practice 1 taking tenth place with time 1:51,089 that guaranteed him twentieth position on the grid. Abraham lost 2,565 seconds to the fastest rider of qualifying practice 1, Marc Marquez.
„Of course I’m not satisfied, I hoped, that we could be around fifteen position. I’m angry because this position wasn’t so far and we could make it. On Friday I was riding only half of second slowly respected today and this is very small improvement. We would need improvement of another half of second to reach good result. During qualifying practice we were using the bike on which I will start to the tomorrow’s race. Unfortunately we were struggling with problems on this bike all the day. I hope that we find all problems and tomorrow the bike will be prepared. I’m still struggling with health issues so before practices I had to take drip in medical centre. But I don’t admit that it could limit me during tomorrow’s race.
Marco Grana, chief mechanic Cardion AB Motoracing
„We can’t be satisfied with today’s result. Our aim was to get closer to Randy De Puniet. At the end of qualifying practice we solved quiet serious problem with front of the bike and Karel is more comfortable with the bike now. During the warm up we will try to set the bike to improve rider´s feeling. . I believe that we can do a step forward and that we can be able to fight for points in the race. Karel is not hundred per cent ok and tomorrow he will have to see the doctor Costa to make the race, because Mugello is really hard race on difficult track. We have to hope that tomorrow we will do better and that we’ll repeat the good result from Le Mans.“
Edwards and Corti qualify 17th and 18th at Mugello
The qualifying session at Mugello ended with NGM Mobile Forward Racing riders Colin Edwards and Claudio Corti qualifying in 17th and 18th place respectively for tomorrow’s race.
Colin Edwards feels he is still lacking some traction and exit grip but feels he has found a good setting for his FTR – Kawasaki. The American rider is planning on trying some minor modifications during the warm up session to try and solve these problems.
The Claudio Corti seems to have overcome the problems he had during yesterday’s free practice sessions after teammate Colin Edwards made some suggestions to modify the electronics of Corti´s bike. The Italian rider will continue working on the bike during warm up and to be as competitive as possible for the race.
“We found a pretty good setting yesterday, played around a little bit with it, mainly messed with the electronics to see if we could get it better. In qualifying I got behind Smith and put my head down. I can’t say I’m happy but I gave it all I’ve got, I think we are lacking a little bit of traction, exit grip. We might try something tomorrow morning if it’s dry.”
“Since yesterday we have made important modifications on the front of the bike that have turned out to be very beneficial since in the afternoon session I was able to improved a lot my lap times. We are working in the right direction; I have a better feeling with the bike, we have also improved a lot in terms of the electronics. We made some modifications that Colin (Edwards) had suggested and the electronics are now working better. We have some ideas for tomorrow’s warm up in the hope that they will be useful too. The pace is good, we have the motivation, we have the fans behind, its our home race and if tomorrow morning we managed to get a two or three tenths we can hope to do well.”
“Overall we had a good day today, we were able to have two dry sessions before the qualifying session. We have qualified in seventeenth and eighteenth position for tomorrow´s race and we are happy because we have improved during every session even if we know we can still improve. Claudio managed to solve the problem he had yesterday, we had a meeting with both riders, they shared their ideas and found a good solution for him. Colin, with his experience was able to help Claudio find the base for his bike. Both riders made more or less the same lap times, the race pace is not the best but we hope for a dry race tomorrow. Our goal is to have both riders in the points.”
Pedrosa sets record pace in Mugello qualifying
Round 5: Italian MotoGP™ - Qualifying Practice One and Two
Mugello, Saturday 1 June 2013
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft & Medium Rear: Soft, Medium & Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Hard (Main), Soft (Alternative)
Weather: FP3 - Dry. Ambient 17-19°C; Track 21-26°C (Bridgestone measurement)
FP4 & QP1/2 - Dry. Ambient 22-24°C; Track 42-44°C (Bridgestone measurement)
Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa beat his own qualifying lap record at Mugello to claim his first pole position of the season in an enthralling day of action in Italy.
Pedrosa’s lap time of 1'47.157 came on his last lap and relegated Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo - who also lapped under the existing qualifying lap record today – to second place by 0.069 seconds. Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso ensured three different manufacturers at the front of the grid and plenty of smiles for the Italian fans with a best lap time of 1’47.628 that settled him in third place. Having entered directly into QP2 after a strong performance in FP3 this morning, Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro was the best qualifier among the CRT entries, setting a time of 1'48.765 to qualify in P12.
The morning cloud cover lifted for the afternoon sessions, with dry track conditions and a peak track temperature of 44°C offering excellent conditions for the time attack in qualifying. The temperatures experienced today were still lower than historically recorded at Mugello, so all riders preferred using the softer rear slick option for greater grip and warm-up performance in combination with the harder front slick that gives superior front-end stability. It is expected that if the dry conditions prevail tomorrow that this same combination of slick tyres will be widely used.
Tomorrow’s Italian Grand Prix will start at 1400 local time tomorrow (GMT +2) with Morning Warm Up taking place from 0940-1000.
Masao Azuma – Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“The pace we saw today was very good with two riders lapping under the existing qualifying lap record and it is pleasing to see three different manufacturers on the front row! Track temperatures were the highest we’ve seen this weekend but it was still a bit cooler than usual for Mugello, so hardly any riders evaluated the harder rear slicks today. In FP4 many riders did long runs on the softer rear slicks and the durability of this option was good, so if we have a dry race tomorrow I expect that the combination of the harder front and softer rear slicks will be popular. ”